Security for polls ramped up in Lumbini

Pokhara, June 26

Authorities have ramped up security in Lumbini zone in the run-up to the upcoming local elections due on Wednesday in Provinces 1, 5 and 7.

According to western regional Police Office Spokesperson SP Basant Kunwar, 7,280 Nepal Police personnel along with 7,875 personnel from the temporary police force have been deployed to provide security at 910 polling stations in the six districts that comprise the zone.

“On the basis of security sensitivity, 7 to 23 personnel have been deployed at each polling station,” he informed, adding that separate security strategies had been laid out for effective security prior, during and after the polls.

SP Kunwar also talked about heightened security along the border and the highway. “As for the districts bordering India, the border points there will be sealed 48 hours prior to elections to prevent any untoward incident during the polls; an agreement to this effect was reached between the police chiefs of those districts and their Indian counterparts,” he said, adding that reserve teams of security personnel will be stationed at places in case of emergency.

Kunwar said police had picked up a few cadres of Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and CPN Maoist led by Netra Bikram Chand and are keeping a tab on a few others in view of the upcoming polls. “So far, 86 RJP-N cadres have been arrested.

Of them, 14 have been charged while the remaining have been freed. As for the CPN M, of the 15 arrested cadres, three are still in custody following a court order, while 10 were released on normal bail and we have released two of the cadres after simple interrogation,” Kunwar informed.

Lumbini, which falls in Province 5, has a total of six districts comprising one metropolis, 21 municipalities and 39 rural municipalities. The zone has more than 1.4 million voters and there are 13,242 candidates running for various posts.